The Volunteer Services Center was founded in the Fall of 1989 under the
direction of Dr. William R. Butler, Vice President for Student Affairs at
Dr. William R. Butler
SUMMON and the Wesley Foundation
Of the first volunteer organizations at the University of Miami, the student
organization SUMMON (Students at the University of Miami Move on Need) was
established through the Wesley
on campus. The Wesley Foundation would assign UM student
volunteers to special projects throughout South Florida with the purpose of
assisting the less fortunate. This new student volunteer program was a great
success and hundreds of UM students assumed active roles in the SUMMON
program. The SUMMON program was then transferred to the Undergraduate Student
in 1968. However, the SUMMON program did not last long
under this new administrative setup. Thus, for over a decade, from 1973 to
1989, there was no formal student volunteer program on our campus.
Edward T. Foote II Award in Student Leadership
The first Edward T. Foote II Award in Student Leadership was established and
awarded. This award is presented annually at the Celebration
to a full-time graduating student who has demonstrated
outstanding leadership both on campus and in the community.
The Vice President's Award for Service
Dr. Butler discussed the feasibility of starting a campus volunteer program
with President Tad Foote and Provost Luis Glaser which eventually led to the
creation of the Student Volunteer Center. The National Vice President's
Group, which was co-founded by Dr. Butler, met in California in the summer
of 1987 and Dr. Butler took the opportunity to visit the volunteer programs
in place at Stanford University and the University of Southern California.
The program at Stanford University awarded its student volunteers with a
medallion. Eventually, UM had a medallion cast which has been awarded to
outstanding UM student volunteers as well as others since 1991. The Vice
President's Award for Service is awarded to a male and female student each
year at the Celebration
Student Volunteer Center
The Student Volunteer Program was started at UM during the same year that
President George H. Bush proposed the "1,000 Points of Light Program," which
encouraged young people to become actively involved in volunteering in their
community. At the time, a recent UM graduate was hired as the coordinator of
the program and served in this one-year, non-renewable position. Aley Koshy
was name the first Volunteer Services Coordinator and was later the
Volunteer Services Director when the Program was renamed the Student
Volunteer Center soon after its establishment. The volunteer office was
located in the Smith-Tucker
(STIC) in the Ruth King Stanford International
Lounge of the Norman A. Whitten University Center. The Center was an
immediate success and partnered with 15-20 community volunteer organizations
almost immediately. A program designed to tutor middle school students was
the most popular program.
Iron Arrow Society Sophomore Leadership
Iron Arrow Honor Society
the highest honor at the University of Miami, has recognized a sophomore
since 1989 who has exhibited outstanding leadership, scholarship and service
to the University. The recipient of this award receives a plaque and a
scholarship at the Celebration
Graduate School Award for Service
Beginning in 1996, the recognition of graduate students also occurred for
appreciation of their services to the community and University. These
graduate awards are presented by the Dean of the Graduate
to students for their service and excellence in student life.
William R. Butler Volunteer Services
Upon Dr. Butler's retirement, the Student Volunteer Center was renamed the
William R. Butler Center for Volunteer Services.
Robert Bates Cole Award
Given by the Lennar Foundation since 2002, the Robert
Bates Cole Award
is awarded to a University of Miami student who has
exemplified the characteristics of integrity and dedication through
exceptional, committed and unassuming participation in community service.
William R. Butler Center for Volunteer
Service and Leadership Development
The Butler Center assumed responsibility for leadership programs and student
life assessment, creating the William R. Butler Center for Volunteer Service
and Leadership Development.
Sherwood M. Weiser Memorial Fund for
Student Community Service
Established in honor of UM's late trustee, Sherwood M. Weiser, the fund is
awarded to students who possess a combination of character and compassion
along with exhibiting a strong commitment to community service while at UM.
Excellence in Civic Engagement Award
of Civic and Community Engagement
recognizes faculty members who work
with UM students who are engaged in community-identified needs through
academic service-learning courses and community-based research.
Credit: Dr. William R. Butler, Vice President for Student Affairs Emeritus